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Last Chance to Enter Our #KegelizeAMovie Contest!

November 5th, 2014

*THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED.*

You only have until EOD Thursday, November 6th at 11:59 EST to enter our awesome  #KegelizeAMovie Contest and get the chance to win a new Luna Smart Bead from LELO!

There’s a lot of great entries so far, but they’re only by a handful of entrants, so your odds are still EXCELLENT! Here’s how to play:

Tweet a movie title on Twitter.com and replace one key word with “Kegel,” so that it conveys the importance of pelvic health. Don’t forget to include these three things in your Tweet:

  1. the hashtag #kegelizeamovie
  2. @emandlo
  3. @Lelo_Official

Feel free to submit your entries in the comments below also, though only Tweets that follow the guidelines above will be entered to win. Enter as many times as you like, though each entry should be a different kegelized movie title (NOT the same one over and over). You must be 18 or older to enter. And do NOT create multiple Twitter accounts to enter.

We’ll pick one MVP winner (“MVP” being defined at our discretion) and announce the winning Tweet here on EMandLO.com as well as on Twitter on Friday, the 7th. If that winner does not claim their prize by replying to our private message within a week, a new winner will be chosen.

Good luck! And may the best movie Kegelizer win a Luna Smart Bead!

What Catcalling Would Look Like If We Used It at the Office

November 5th, 2014

This week, EMandLO.com all-star commenter Johnny made an excellent point by comparing catcalling to other kinds of human communication — say, attempting to get hired at a new company:

I had a lengthy argument about catcalling on a pickup website. Their stance was, “Feminism continues to demonize male sexuality, and saying ‘hey beautiful’ isn’t harassment.” My stance was, “Don’t defend these idiots. They’re bothering strangers on the street in ways ranging from douchey to scary.”

I’m all for trying to get laid any time, anywhere. I’m not saying don’t try to pick women up in public. I’m saying, GENUINELY try to meet women in public. I’ve never, ever seen a woman respond to, “HEY BEAUTIFUL, WHERE YOU GOING, I’M TRYING TO TALK TO YOU!” Guys are doing that to stoke their own egos (to feel like they’re “in the game”), to impress each other, because they get a giggle out of watching the woman scurry away… it’s never gonna work and they know it. The woman is basically the butt of a joke. I find it really fucking rude.

I’d never demonize male sexuality – she’s a woman and you’re a man. You’re literally built to want to fuck each other. Get in there and take a shot! You’re allowed to try to get laid. Nothing wrong with having a boner for a girl. But treat her like a person, for chrissake. Try to attract her, not repel her.

Would you do that if you were trying to meet anyone else?

“HEY BOSS, WHAT’S THAT, A FORTUNE FIVE HUNDRED COMPANY? C’MERE AND HIRE ME MAN, I GOT A LENGTHY RESUME! WHERE YOU GOING, CORPORATE, I’M TALKING TO YOU! I’M JUST SAYING YOU LOOK GOOD IN THAT SUIT! WHAT ARE YOU, TOO STUCK UP TO TAKE A COMPLIMENT? FINE, FUCK YOU, YOUR COMPANY SUCKS ANYWAY!”

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10 Quick Lessons from “Parenting Beyond Pink and Blue”

November 5th, 2014

I consider myself a hardcore feminist (I’ve even got the T-shirt), one who’s attuned to all the gender stereotypes bombarding us daily. I work hard to combat them whenever and wherever I can. But I don’t live in a vacuum, and I’ve found myself falling into traps I thought I could avoid: like talking tougher and playing rougher with my son than my daughter. Sometimes “Hey, buddy” just pops out while I’m tickling him with much less mercy than I showed my daughter at his age.

But I didn’t know quite how insidious my own gender biases were until I read Parenting Beyond Pink and Blue: How to Raise Your Kids Free of Gender Stereotypes by developmental psychologist Christia Spears Brown, Ph.D. (and my new imaginary best friend). I’ve been mentioning it to every parent I know ever since, trying to drop it casually into conversation without sounding like a cult member. But then I remembered I could aim bigger, try to reach a larger audience. So I’m telling you now, reader: Parenting Beyond Pink and Blue should be required reading for all parents and teachers!

As a scientist, Brown doesn’t just use a lone study here and an outlying study there to make her case, as many other writers do when trying to prove how even little boys are from Mars blah blah blah. She’s all about meta-analyses, which analyze the findings of many, often hundreds, of studies on a similar topic. It’s in that kind of data where you find out just how similar kids are — a fact that doesn’t get much play since studies showing differences make much catchier, sexier headlines. (Plus, we as humans like to pack things into neat little boxes, no matter how many exceptions to the boxes’ rules we encounter.)

Sure, there are a few genuine differences (girls’ first words come a little earlier; boys have a little less impulse control), but the areas of similarity far outweigh the areas of genuine difference: “For most traits and abilities, boys differ from other boys and girls differ from other girls more than the two groups differ from each other. Just because we like to ignore the variation within a group of boys or a group of girls doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.” Spears explains that even when the average boy differs from the average girl, the distributions are often largely overlapping, meaning you can’t predict what a child will be like based on their gender.

It’s only after a lifetime of being squished into their respective gender boxes that women and men’s brains do actually conform and reflect bigger differences than there actually need to be — than there should be. After all, being encouraged to try and allowed to enjoy a variety of different experiences as you grow up, regardless of whether those experiences are deemed “masculine” or “feminine,” creates better brains — not to mention more empathic humans. Gender-blind parenting, writes Spears, “is about enabling your children to maintain as many cognitive, social, and emotional abilities as possible.”

Without ever being overly academic or pedantic, Brown cites study after study that show the incredibly negative impact gender stereotyping has on both boys and girls development, self-esteem and skills. For example:

  • “Parents routinely assume that their sons are more interested in math and science than their daughters [and they] hold these assumptions regardless of how their kids are actually doing in math and science.”
  • “Girls have a more negative body image after playing with Barbie than before.”
  • “Boys are doing academically worse in school than girls, across the school years, largely because the stereotype tells them to be tough, independent, and never ask for help.”
  • “Dads who avoid the ‘mom’ stuff end up less satisfied with parenting than other dads.”
  •  ”Analyses of national AP Calculus tests shows that almost five thousand additional girls a year would have scored high enough to earn AP credit had they indicated their gender at the end of the test instead of the beginning. Simply pushing back those gender thoughts until the test is over can keep performance higher.”

The list goes on and on, with each finding more powerfully eye-opening than the next. The classroom studies she writes about are even more depressing in terms of how pervasive and damaging gender assumptions are — and how daunting trying to affect change can be (beware of schools adopting different teaching styles based on gender). But knowledge is power. Did I mention that if you’re a parent or a teacher you should read this book?

Again, you should read Parenting Beyond Pink and Blue But in the meantime, here’s a quick list of small, everyday changes recommended by Spears (or in some cases inspired by Spears’ suggestions) that you can make to help your own kids turn out to be more fully-formed, multidimensional successes, rather than simply macho dudes or girly girls.

  1. Buy gender-neutral toys for your own and others’ kids and encourage them to play with cross-gender toys from an early age (though keep in mind that, after a certain age, anything labeled for a certain gender will be anathema to the “opposite” gender).
  2. Before puberty, have co-ed birthday parties and playdates.
  3. Don’t refer to children as “boys” or “girls.” Call them “kids/students” — otherwise you’re constantly dividing kids into opposing “other” groups and reinforcing how this one aspect is THE most important factor of their identity.
  4. Avoid making sweeping statements about how all boys are X, Y and Z or how all girls are A, B and C (e.g. the dreaded “Boys will be boys.”).
  5. When your child is exposed to gender-stereotyping by TV, books, and other people, question this stereotyping with your child and give them several examples of exceptions to these “rules.” (When my kids say boys don’t wear pink, I pull up loads of pictures of men rocking pink shirts, pants, shoes, etc.)
  6. Don’t assign chores based on gender: girls can take out the trash, boys can help with the laundry, etc.
  7. Talk to boys as much as girls, especially about their feelings, and encourage caretaking and nurturing in them — they might be parents too, some day (just like William from “Free to Be You and Me”!).
  8. When reading in class, make sure you don’t automatically assume animals/aliens and other “it” characters are male; change any terms like “firemen” and “policemen” and “mailman” to “firefighter” and “police officer” and “mail carrier.”
  9. Don’t compliment girls on their appearance (e.g. a new haircut or outfit)  – compliment all kids on their hard work and effort, and ask about their interests. And make sure you count and talk numbers with girls (since parents statistically do this more with boys).
  10. Monitor — and censor — the media they consume. A lot of shows’ and games’ bread and butter is gender stereotyping, portraying girls as interested in looks and boys, while encouraging boys to be aggressive and violent. Ban commercials (TiVo and Netfilx can help with that).

 

The Real Reason Why Guys Love Blowjobs So Much

November 4th, 2014

photo via flickr

Advice from three of our guy friends. This week they answer the following: What’s the big deal about blowjobs — seriously, what makes them so special?

Gay Single Guy (Daniel): On the physical level, it’s simple: they feel fucking amazing. They provide physical sensations so desirable that a straight man would let a queer guy suck him off, either for the right amount of money or with the lights out. It’s that real. But aside from that, I recently asked some straight female friends whether or not they actually enjoy giving head, or do they really just do it because they know the guy will like it. Unanimously they said the latter, and that’s why blowjobs are indeed quite special. For many women (and certainly not all), blowjobs aren’t about the immediate satisfaction of their physical wants, but rather, the pleasure gained from satisfying someone else’s desires. There is an element of selflessness. A woman might even think giving blowjobs is downright nasty, but might continue to blow her man because she gets off on getting her man off. Some guys know this and thus know just how lucky they are for getting one.

Straight Single Guy (Mark): My first reaction is an overwhelming, “What isn’t the big deal about blowjobs?!”  But there’s more than just the primal, physical, when-they’re-good-they’re-freaking-amazing aspect. Of course there’s the stereotype that the appeal of BJs is about some sort of control or domination/submissiveness, but I think there are deeper factors involved, like trust and acceptance, that truly make them so great. Oral sex — in both directions, by the way — can in many ways be even more intimate than the regular ol’ in-n-out.

We don’t always acknowledge the more emotional aspects of oral, but — even if partly subconsciously — those elements probably get closer to the heart of what makes this expression of affection so special.  To be face-to-face and naughty-bits-to-naughty-bits is one thing.  But for your partner to be so into you that s/he would go downtown and get up-close-and-personal to provide pleasure exclusively to you (okay, there are those of us who derive almost as much from giving as receiving, but that’s another story)…well, I think that’s a pretty gosh darn “big deal”!

Straight Married Guy (Figleaf): Blowjobs used to be really, really stigmatized and therefore really, really rare. Even for couples in long-term relationships.  In a few states in the U.S. it might still legally be sodomy, even for heterosexuals, and in the past it’s been strongly associated with “latent” homosexuality, porn, and prostitution — and strongly not associated with “good girls.”  Something else contributing to the stigma:  blowjobs break the gender rule that sex is something for men to do and women receive. And all those insults with the word “suck” in them?  Some of those used to be taken deadly seriously.

Nowadays, not so much. But add up the little bits of historical taboo, the little bit of gender-bending for both men and women, and the fact that blowjobs feel very good and… well, that’s enough to make them seem pretty special.  Which, incidentally, I think they ought to be.  Special. Instead of, oh, say, obligatory.  Not least because when they start feeling obligatory, men’s partners start wondering, well, what makes them so special?

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Vote Today!

November 4th, 2014

No excuses! On this day — today, Election Day, Tuesday, November 4th, 2014 — you’ve got to get out and vote to, among other things, protect women’s rights, including access to birth control, safe abortions, good sex ed, and equal pay for equal work. Even if it doesn’t seem like there’s any difference between Republicans and Democrats these days, there is — Democrats act in favor of the issues we’ve mentioned above, Republicans don’t. So when in doubt, go Dem!

Planned Parenthood has a great Voter Guide: You just enter the zip code you vote in, and PP gives you the state and federal candidates they endorse. Enter your full address and they’ll even give you your polling place!

Feminist Campus and Feminist Majority Foundation have a state-by-state list of all the sketchy ballot measures to watch out for today.

So if you haven’t already, find out where to vote, make a plan to get there or go right now! Help ensure we move forward, not backwards, when it comes to reproductive freedoms and women’s rights.

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Your Weekly Horoscopes: 11-03-14

November 3rd, 2014

grandcentral_ceiling_421photo by Simply Schmoopie

Each week, we at EMandLO.com predict the course of your love life for the week with our own version of irreverent horoscopes — ignore our advice at your own peril. (Hyperbole intended for dramatic effect.)

aries (Mar. 21st-Apr. 20th)
We’re assuming the stars are talking about love, but this may apply to a friendship or a business relationship for all we know: Don’t turn your back on someone who has been loyal to you for years. Shame on you for even considering it! Think of everything they’ve ever done for you. Sure, they may be completely annoying in their own special way, but that’s part of their charm. Don’t walk away from them, not if you want us to talk to you again.

taurus (Apr. 21st-May 20th)
Anger and resentment will follow if someone becomes too clingy too fast. Just be sure you’re not mistaking true love for clingy-ness, because someday people will stop clinging and then you’ll die all alone.

gemini (May 21st-June 21st)
You are likely to run out of steam when you need it the most this week. Pace yourself, drink lots of water, and think about baseball.

cancer (June 22nd-July 22nd)
Just because you’re in a good mood, that doesn’t mean everyone else you pass should “smile — it can’t be that bad!” Just because you’re in a bad mood, doesn’t mean you have to poo poo everyone else’s good time. Just because you think it’s a brilliant idea, that won’t mean your colleagues will too. Just because you want to do it, doesn’t automatically mean your partner wants to stop watching TV. Just because your dog wags its tail when you do that thing, that doesn’t make it right, you sick, sick bastard.

leo (July 23rd-Aug. 22nd)
The more passionate you are about something that you are involved in, the more likely you are to meet someone who is attracted to you, as well as everything you believe in and stand for. Are you really interested in being a married Evangelical pastor, or did you sign up just because it seemed like the thing to do? Find a cause you actually care about, one you can get behind with gusto, like Free Beer Fridays or Gimps Are People Too. Besides, that rumor you heard about pastors getting a free pass on gay sex with prostitutes is not true. Total urban legend, man.

virgo (Aug. 23rd-Sept. 22nd)
If your mind’s in the gutter but your ass is on the La-Z-Boy, chances are the only person you’re goind to be talking dirty to is your teddy bear. If you’re looking for a more interactive experience, as it were, you’re going to have to get out of the house every once in a while. Though, if your dirty talking skills are a little rusty, practicing on your teddy bear is not the worst idea in the world. But if you do any more than talk, we don’t want to know about it.

libra (Sept. 23rd-Oct. 23rd)
Don’t believe the lies of the person trying to seduce you right now!

scorpio (Oct. 24th-Nov. 22nd)
Scorpio, let’s work on our indoor voice, shall we? This whole social butterfly thing you’ve got going works fine in the bar (or on line at the DMV), but in one-on-one situations, it’s a little much. Tone it down a tad once you hit the bedroom, lest you scare away the hotties (or piss off their neighbors).

sagittarius (Nov. 23rd-Dec. 21st)
Go to bed without brushing your teeth for once. Hit the snooze button a third time. Leave on the conditioner for a minute longer than the bottle tells you to. You know: go nuts. Most of all, let your heart rule your head. Remember, it doesn’t have to “make sense,” it just has to be legal and consensual. If anyone questions your state of mind, just tell them that if loving this way is wrong, you don’t want to be right.

capricorn (Dec. 22nd-Jan. 20th)
Being needy will be a problem. If you try too hard you will end up with someone who will take advantage of you. You are probably better off spending time alone with a good book. Like the fabulous book, 150 Shades of Play: A Beginner’s Guide to Kink. Have you heard of it? It’ll help kill the time until you finally find someone cool to knock boots with.

aquarius (Jan. 21st-Feb. 18th)
It’s time to turn on the charm and make a splash — or, as we like to call it, pulling a Hilary Rodham Clinton. You’re your own sexual agent, and sometimes that means rolling up your sleeves and doing a little self-promotion. Stop short of an “Am I Hot or What?” press release, but don’t shy away from anything else. Trust us on this one: We know from self-promotion. Once you bite the bullet and start, it’s addictive! (Did we mention we our fabulous book, 150 Shades of Play: A Beginner’s Guide to Kink?)

pisces (Feb. 19th-Mar. 20th)
When you fall for someone, it’s like you become a Jehovah’s Witness: you do everything in your power to convince the object of your affections to see the light and join you on this journey of love. Yet they almost always resist when you come on so strong, practically slamming the door in your face. Don’t put your foot in the door jam — you’ll just end up with a broken toe, maybe even a cop or two responding to the 911 call your beloved made when you wouldn’t back down. The best thing you can do is just quietly walk away. One look at that ass as you leave the front porch, and they’ll be calling you up for salvation before you know it.

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Your Call: How Do I Tell Him I Don’t Like His Weight Gain?

November 3rd, 2014


photo via IMDB

We get a lot of advice questions coming in at EMandLO.com, but sadly, we just can’t answer them all. Which is why, once a week, we turn to you to decide how best to advise a reader.  

Submit Your Own Question to EMandLO.comTry Our New
*PRIVATE*
Advice Service!

 

Dear Em & Lo,

My husband and I have been together ten years, and over the last few years he has gradually put on about twenty pounds. He jokes about it, but he doesn’t seem to be bothered by the weight gain — he just seems to think it’s normal for a guy his age (44) to get thick around the middle. And it’s true, most of his friends have spread in the same way. But I miss the guy I fell in love with! I’m still in love with him, but I’m not quite as attracted to him as I once was, and I worry what this will do to my sex drive as the years go on.

Can I say anything to him? And if so, what do I say and how do I say it?!

– C(hubby) Chaser

What should C.C. do? Leave your advice in the comments section below.

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A Guide to Sketchy Ballot Measures This Election Day

November 3rd, 2014


photo via Ms. Blog

The Ms. Magazine blog created this infographic showing the four states where there are big ballot measures that could severely impact women’s rights. If you live in one of them, educate yourself. Even if you don’t, pass this along to someone who does:

In Colorado: Vote NO on amendment 67 and protect access to abortion and birth control. Learn more about the “personhood” measure and your voting rights here.
In Oregon: Vote YES on measure 89 and enshrine women’s equality in the state constitution. Learn more about Oregon’s Equal Rights Amendment and how to vote here.
In North Dakota: Vote NO on measure 1, which would ban abortion and most birth control by redefining “personhood.” Learn more about the amendment and how to vote here.
In Tennessee: Vote NO on amendment 1—don’t let the state take away women’s right to abortion. Learn more about the constitutional amendment and your voting rights here.

Feminist Campus and Feminist Majority Foundation have a state-by-state list of all the other sketchy ballot measures to watch out for this Tuesday, November 4th.

And Planned Parenthood has a great Voter Guide: You just enter the zip code you vote in, and PP gives you the state and federal candidates they endorse. Enter your full address and they’ll even give you your polling place!

Find out where to vote, make a plan to get there, and then make sure you follow through this Tuesday to help ensure we move forward, not backwards, when it comes to reproductive freedoms and women’s rights.

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7 Tips for Determining Who Pays on a Date

October 31st, 2014

photo via Flickr

Dates may be cheap but they ain’t never free. So who coughs up?

  1. Whoever did the asking pays for the date. This is 2014, people, it’s so last century to assume the man always gets it.
  2. However, if you’ve been asked out, you should always assume you’ll be going dutch to avoid disappointment. Bring cash so you don’t end up washing dishes.
  3. When the check comes, the one who was asked out should offer to go halvsies — and try to sound like you mean it.
  4. If you end up sharing the bill, split it evenly, even if one of you got lobster. Exact breakdowns are for roomies, siblings, and other people with no plans to get naked.
  5. In a battle of the Amexes, defer to who did the asking (perhaps it’s the miles).
  6. If your date absolutely insists on getting the whole thing, this is your excuse to extend the date: offer to buy cocktails or coffee at the bar across the street, or insist the next date’s on you.
  7. Though we’d like to believe that everyone knows better by now, we should note that no matter how much your date spends on dinner, you do not owe them a thing in the booty department — not even a kiss.

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